An isolated shooting incident at the University of South Carolina, Thursday afternoon, brought the issue of school shootings too close to home for The College’s community. Although many details of the shooting are not yet known, students and faculty have expressed their support, claiming, “Today, we are all Gamecocks.”
Around 2:30 p.m. on February 6th, shots were fired at the USC School of Public Health. Officials have declared two students dead in an apparent murder / suicide, but have not yet released the victims’ names. Students were urged to stay inside, while classrooms were locked down until the situation was secure. Although an incident isolated in nature, any shooting at a higher education institution touches the whole academic community, beyond those directly involved.
While the entire country always sympathizes with victims of such tragedies, there is often a lingering sense of separation for those who are at great distances from the impact. However, yesterday’s shooting proved far too frightening for The College’s student community. “I think the scariest part is that it happened so close to our campus,” commented Junior Naomi Samuels. This sentiment was shared by many students, claiming that such proximity is “frightening,” and makes the issue much more real. “It could happen anywhere,” claims Junior Charlotte O’Connor. “Our campus is just as vulnerable as theirs.”
As our South Carolina community heals from the shock of such an event, Charleston Student Body President Ryan Spraker reflects on the incident, “Whenever tragedy strikes another South Carolina Higher Ed institution, we all must take a moment to think about the lives lost and affected. Today, we are all gamecocks!”